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[casi] Reply from Joan Ryan...

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Francis Sealey the a reply from Joan Ryan regarding the question about
reconstruction in Iraq:
The Government wants to see UK companies play a substantial role in the
redevelopment of essential infrastructure in post-conflict Iraq.  For the
immediate future, major contracts are being issued through USAID, the US
Agency for International Development, using US taxpayers money.  Although they
have a policy that only US companies can qualify as prime contractors, the US
Administration have agreed that British and other foreign companies can be
used as sub-contractors.
The largest prime contract has been awarded to Bechtel for major
infrastructure rehabilitation and they are committed to using Iraqi companies
wherever possible.  On 30th May they announced they had signed their first
subcontract with an established Iraqi construction company to build a vital
bridge bypass in the western part of Iraq.
However these USAID funded contracts are a very small beginning on the road to
rebuilding Iraq.  This is why oil revenues are going to prove so vital to the
future of Iraq.  All these revenues will be paid into the development fund for
Iraq.  UN Resolution 1438, adopted on the 22nd May, sets out the main
parameters of the operation of the development fund.  Responsibility will
initially lie with the coalition partners but will pass to Iraqi ministries as
soon as possible.
The British Government wants to help the people of Iraq to re-build their
country as quickly as possible.  We aim to ensure that proceeds from Iraqi oil
are used to benefit all the people of Iraq.  The first task will be to repair
and renovate existing oil fields.  That could be a huge job depending on the
number of oil wells Saddam has sabotaged.  In any event, Iraq's oil fields
will require considerable investment to bring them up to international
standards.  Long-term decisions about the oil sector, such as privatisation or
the exploitation of new fields, will be for a new Iraqi government to address.
Anai Rhoads

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